Interview with China expert Professor Rana Mitter

For China and Japan, the battles they fought in the 1930s and 1940s continue to scar their relationship. On a diplomatic level, there has been no meeting between their leaders since President Xi Jinping exchanged a frosty handshake with Prime Minister Abe in late 2014. President Xi has worked in recent years to enhance the […]

Read More

Toyota Warns on Hard Brexit

The chairman of Toyota has reacted cautiously to a speech by the British prime minister Theresa May in which she tried to reassure companies about the implications of the Brexit. The speech included an offer of support for international auto makers, such as Nissan and Toyota, which use their British factories to export to Europe. […]

Read More

Chinese anger simmers over Yasakuni

Japan’s defence minister has been criticised by China and South Korea for visiting the Yasakuni Shrine in Tokyo, where the Japanese honour their war dead. Japan’s neighbours claim the shrine celebrates people who committed war crimes. Visits to the shrine by Japanese politicians often lead to complaints in the Chinese and Korean media, but the […]

Read More

Abe Hails “Alliance of Hope” with US

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made a historic visit to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, the site of a notorious attack on a US Naval base, which drew America into the Second World War. Standing next to President Obama, Mr Abe offered his “sincere and everlasting condolences” to the victims. “We must never repeat the […]

Read More

Britain asks Japan to take key nuclear power role

Britain is asking Japan to build nuclear power facilities in the UK, five and a half years on from the Fukushima disaster. Hitachi has been approached to build a new nuclear plant in Wales, in a deal backed by money from the Japanese government. It follows on from a deal reached earlier this year for […]

Read More

Strongman Putin seeks solace in Japan

The Russian President Vladimir Putin flew into Japan on Thursday, the day he was pronounced the most powerful man in the world by Forbes. His first stop was Nagato, the hometown of the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, where he stayed in a luxurious onsen spa resort. Mr Abe said he hoped the spa would […]

Read More

US & UK Signal New Outlook on Asia

Two of Japan’s western allies have been sending messages about their policies in East Asia. America’s president-elect Donald Trump has criticised China over trade and security and opened up an unprecedented dialogue with Taiwan. Meanwhile, the British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, has said Britain’s policy towards the region should not only be decided by trade […]

Read More

Has Abenomics Fizzled Out?

Throughout 2016, economists have been asking if Japan’s shocking decision to introduce negative interest rates has been beneficial. In January the Bank of Japan adopted its negative interest-rate policy, which in effect penalises banks for hoarding too much money. This dramatic and unconventional move was part of the Bank’s plan to support Abenomics, the programme devised […]

Read More

Abe first in line to meet President elect Trump

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has become the first foreign leader to meet President elect Donald Trump. They held a 90-minute conversation at Trump Tower in New York. Mr Abe said he has great confidence in Mr Trump. He described their talk as candid and with a warm atmosphere. There was very little information disclosed […]

Read More

Mother, father, baby and work

Most Japanese men expect to gain more money and status the longer they stay with their company. By the time they reach their forties or fifties, they expect to become managers and earn considerably more than they did when they joined their company in their twenties. That was the system which was common throughout corporate […]

Read More